Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Resolutions for Writers

1. Read more. Set a goal for a number of books a week, a month, all year.

2. Write more. Set a schedule or resolve to write X many hours or words a day, week or month. Vow to finish a first draft, a revision, or X number of short stories. Maybe you do your writing on a blog, set a schedule to post weekly or biweekly.

3. Share more. Join a critique group to share your work and help others as well. Read pages at open mike night. Send queries to agents or editors. Attend conferences. Get the word out more about what you are doing.

4. Learn more about the craft. Take a class in writing or read a book about craft. Some good books that will make you look at the meat in your stories include, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass and "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder.

5. Experience more. New experiences and observations are the heart of creativity. Don't be afraid to explore, try something new, attempt another form of art, stretch yourself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Christmas List

When you are a kid, the Christmas list includes all the things you wish to receive, the hottest toys, a pony, a jetpack. Now that I am older, my Christmas list is something different, it is all the things I have to do before the December 25 deadline. One is as far fetched as the other.

I typically like to do lists. I make them all the time to help me remember to do things, like pay a bill or renew my library card. Sometimes they get pretty long. And sometimes I forget to put things on them, and then I have to add to the list. I also like deadlines rather than leaving a task open ended. Deadlines fuel the fire to get projects done. Since to do lists and deadlines, and the variations that can happen to them, are commonplace in my life, my adult version of the Christmas list should be no problem. So why am I feeling so nervous 9 days before Christmas?

The answer is probably in the expectations. Although I am not sure how giving someone a promise note that a gift has not yet been delivered by Amazon is worse than telling my boss I can't get a project done on time is a mystery to me. I blame Santa, and all his miracles and doing the impossible in one night and having only gifts handmade by elves under his supervision that he personally delivers for millions of children all over the world. That is a hard act to follow, being a normal adult. I don't have magic elves!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

National Novel Writing Month Fail? Maybe Not.

I used to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I didn't always seek to write 50,000 words, but I did set other goals (revising a novel, focusing on a project, or writing every day). I liked the momentum of NaNo, and followed a lot of participants.

This year was a little different. I started thinking about it in October. I even logged into the National Novel Writing Month website and peeked at the forums. I had a project I wanted to get done, and then things got in the way.

The funny thing is, the things that got in the way were other writing projects that needed attention. Somewhere in the years since I took first notice of NaNoWriMo, it became a way of life.